Current Created of Atoms for Potential Electronic DevicesCategory: Science & Technology
Posted: September 10, 2013 02:29PM
A fairly simple and important lesson you learn in a chemistry class is the Pauli Exclusion Principle. This principle means it is impossible for two fermions to exist at the same place with the same energy level. Such a rule complicates the needed particle transport for producing a current, but researchers at the University of Heidel-berg, as reported by Springer, have successfully created a current of bosonic atoms.
There are two families of elementary particles; fermions and bosons. Fermions include electrons, protons, and neutrons, and are all characterized as having half-integer spin values. Bosons however have integer spin values, and include photons. The Pauli Exclusion Principle only applies to fermions, which means that within an atom two electrons cannot occupy the same place in the same energy orbit, but photons of identical energy can occupy the same space. What the researchers have done is chilled atoms to ultra-cold temperatures to make them behave like bosons. This means the atoms can form a current in a system with lower dimensionality than those needed for modern electronics.
This research may not greatly impact electronics, as it requires ultra-cold temperatures, but it could advance atomtronics. Potentially it could be applied to create analogues of diodes and field-effect transistors for atomtronics.